Trump Is Criticized for Taking Kim Jong-un ‘at His Word’ Over Otto Warmbier’s Death – The New York Times

The family could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday.

The Trump administration has stood by Saudi Arabia’s day-to-day leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, even after American intelligence agencies concluded that the prince most likely ordered the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a United States resident, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.

In a remarkable statement in November, Mr. Trump said, “It could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event — maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”

“We may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi,” the president added. “In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

On Thursday, Representative Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House, recalled Mr. Trump’s previous remarks defending President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and challenging the conclusion of his own intelligence agencies that Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

“It’s strange,” she said at her weekly briefing. “I don’t know. There is something wrong with Putin, Kim Jong-un — in my view, thugs — that the president chooses to believe.”

Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim ended their second summit meeting on Thursday after failing to agree on steps toward nuclear disarmament or measures to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

At the Capitol, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican majority leader, praised Mr. Trump’s “smart” handling of North Korea and said he “should be commended for walking away.” He did not comment on Mr. Trump’s remarks about Mr. Warmbier, CNN reported.


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